New Mexico bans scopes on muzzleloaders

Photo credit: Brady Miller

Earlier this month, the New Mexico State Game Commission voted to ban the use of scopes on all muzzleloaders beginning the 2023 hunting season.

The new ruling specified that muzzleloader hunters are not allowed to use scopes on their muzzleloaders during a hunt, but that scopes are still legal for muzzleloaders during Any Legal Weapon hunts only. 

Stewart Liley, head biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, stated in the meeting with the commission that technology improvements have made muzzleloaders nearly as effective as centerfire rifles. Liley went on to note, “what we’re seeing biologically is that the harvest is going to be unsustainable,”.

If you are planning to apply for New Mexico in 2023, please remember to take this new rule change into account.


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